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Washington DC, quick and easy visit

Washington DC, quick and easy visit

Old Mar 6th 2014, 5:34 pm
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Default Washington DC, quick and easy visit

I'm going to be near DC for business reasons. How easy is it to get into DC for a quick tour? Probably one of those bus tours where you ooh and ahh through the windows, hour or so, something geared at people wasting time on a layover would be ideal. Or maybe I'll just go to the Smithsonian. Everything seems really close together, so is it all walkable? I can choose to leave from Reagan airport, which seems really close to everything but I've made that mistake before and ended up having to walk down dual-carriageways to places that are not accessible on foot. I'd like to assume that there is a frequent bus service downtown. I only have a day to plan everything and my searches are coming up awfully full of crap.
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Old Mar 6th 2014, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: Washington DC, quick and easy visit

Originally Posted by Anian View Post
I'm going to be near DC for business reasons. How easy is it to get into DC for a quick tour? Probably one of those bus tours where you ooh and ahh through the windows, hour or so, something geared at people wasting time on a layover would be ideal. Or maybe I'll just go to the Smithsonian. Everything seems really close together, so is it all walkable? I can choose to leave from Reagan airport, which seems really close to everything but I've made that mistake before and ended up having to walk down dual-carriageways to places that are not accessible on foot. I'd like to assume that there is a frequent bus service downtown. I only have a day to plan everything and my searches are coming up awfully full of crap.
Frommers suggest this itinerary for 1 day in Washington DC

http://www.frommers.com/destinations...ton-d-c/674754
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Old Mar 6th 2014, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: Washington DC, quick and easy visit

Unless things have changed since I was there last, the subway stops at Reagan National (DCA) and from there its a quick ride to all of the touristy area's, if I recall correctly everything is basically within a few stops of one another.

I went for about 8 hours once, bored so hopped a flight to DC, then took the last one back home, and I found the place very easy to get around and to/from DCA.

Looking at DCA's website, subway stops at terminals B and C, if using terminal A, then a short shuttle ride is needed.

Subway map.

http://www.metwashairports.com/file/wmatamap01.pdf

If the museums interest you, pick 1 or 2 to see, they are free and excellent for the most part. You can do so much in DC with spending very little money, no tour bus needed.

Last edited by Jsmth321; Mar 6th 2014 at 5:43 pm.
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Old Mar 6th 2014, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Washington DC, quick and easy visit

I live near DC.

The subway ("Metro") has a stop at Reagan airport. Arlington Cemetery is only 4 stops away on the Blue line (make sure it's a Blue line train and not a Yellow). After visiting that (JFK grave, Arlington House, etc), you could hop on a trolley tour to see the rest of the city:

http://www.trolleytours.com/washington-dc/

You can get on & off all day. They have 3 loops and your ticket is good for all 3. Arlington Cemetary is on one of the loops.

If you want to walk from Arlington Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial is just a 20 min walk from the Arlington Cemetery Metro station across the Arlington Memorial Bridge. I've walked from Arlington Cemetery to Capitol Hill (and vice versa) many times. Probably a 3 or 4 mile walk each way. Plenty of attractions on the way (Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, MLK Memorial, Washington Monument, Capitol Building, museums, etc). You'll see the White House too but you'd need to take a short side trip off the Mall to get up close.

Alternatively, you can take the Metro from Reagan to anywhere else in the city and start from there.

Last edited by MarylandNed; Mar 6th 2014 at 6:25 pm.
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Old Mar 6th 2014, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Washington DC, quick and easy visit

Thanks for the responses! I have my flight booked for 3pm, so it looks like that if I can return the rental car to the airport early in the morning then I can take the metro downtown to wander for a bit around all the famous landmarks before everything opens, although I will have to put up with the commuters - travel light, fit everything into a single carry-on hopefully. Then probably visit the Air and Space museum (free) and see if I have time for a few others. Looks like the metro operates similarly to the London underground, so shouldn't be too much hassle.

This morning I was pretty stressed about the whole thing, now it is actually exciting.
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Old Mar 6th 2014, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Washington DC, quick and easy visit

You could easily spend hours in the Air & Space Museum. The other one I really like is the National Museum of American History. Not sure you'd have time for both unless it's a whirlwind tour. Make time to have a wander on the Mall and get photos of the Capitol and Washington Monument at least.
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Old Mar 6th 2014, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Washington DC, quick and easy visit

Very walkable between White House and the Capitol. Great train system to get around. Watch out for panhandlers.
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Old Mar 7th 2014, 1:52 am
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Default Re: Washington DC, quick and easy visit

I'd aim for Air and Space and probably Natural History. Those are the two most popular. American History is also good. If an art fan you can go for some of those.

Everything is walkable, but it is also deceptively far apart, especially if you get to the monuments. From the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial is over 2 miles, and another mile or so to loop out to Jefferson or a bit to hit the White House. You'll be on the 'Mall' looking at the Capitol or Washington monument and say "why it's just right over there" but by the time you hike down there you're like "umm, what?"

If you want some local eats, inside Eastern Market (1 stop on the Metro past the US Capitol) is a place called "Market Lunch" and it is rather legendary short order grill. Crabcakes are the specialty but most of their sandwiches and the bread is written about in travel guides. If you want a 'local' dive kind of bar, check out the Tune Inn with dead animals on the wall and drunk congressional staffers at the bar, most of the day. Cheap burgers. Kind of a legendary dive.

Market Lunch



Tune Inn
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Old Mar 8th 2014, 2:46 am
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Default Re: Washington DC, quick and easy visit

Definitely don't plan to eat in the Air and Space museum! Busiest, most horrible cafeteria I saw in any DC musuems.
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